Oh Christmas, what a mixed blessing you are. On the one hand, I want to poke my eyes out every time I see an ad for a black Friday sale or a commercial with car with a bow on it (a car?!?! really?!?). Poke. I’m also atheist, so maybe it is offensive when I secularize the birth of Christ or the Winter Solstice? On the other hand, I like fancy parties, sparkling lights, decorations made from trees, spending time with people I love, cookies, and any excuse to show the people close to me how special they are by making or finding something special for them.
Of course you can give people gifts anytime, but like many things, it is the ritual of the celebration that gets me off my couch, hunting, crafting, wrapping. I am steadfast in my refusal to shop at places like Walmart or to give generic plastic gift cards purchased at the drugstore. If you are too, I made this little list of interesting prezzies you will find locally for the people that you love, vegan or not. Key: $ = less than $30; $$ = less than $100; $$$ = pricey but worth it.
Art and Artists – My favorite gift to give and receive is real, original, one-of-a-kind art or artist designed wares. If you know someone who loves illustrations, maybe buy an original comic from local artist Maré Odomo. Or art from EGO, Parskid, Phil Scroggs, Vegan Me, Arianne Whited, etc. Or if you know a guy who likes girls and pizza, get him this rad poster. Check it. $-$$$
Aromas not Therapy– Do you have someone in your life who just swoons for sweet smelling oils and perfumes? The adorable gift set selections from Sweet Anthem, an all vegan perfumery in West Seattle, would be ideal. 100% vegan. Handmade. Local. Check it. $-$$
Books and Marks – Have you seen the bookshelf at Sidecar lately? More than 100 books on vegan politics, animals, vegan cooking, health, and more for you to get for the reader in your life. And even more fun, you can pick up a handmade bookmark with a vintage cartoon about Animals looking to people for mercy. Check it. $
Cookie Carton – If you can’t bake (I know you are out there), but love someone with a serious sweet tooth who would appreciate a box of delicate, light, and delectable cookies, get thee to Bouteloua Bakery and order a dozen. All Vegan. Organic. Fresh. Check it. $
Face it Vegan – The lovely and talented Kandice Kelley offers a 100% vegan facial using handcrafted, cruelty-free Uspa products which are made with pure ingredients, no animal byproducts, and no animal testing. Check it. $$
Feed Your Friends – Its true that people like to eat out, but can’t always afford it or won’t make room for it in their lives and budgets. Gift certificates can be a way of helping the people you love get out and relax, celebrate, or spend time with someone important. Pick one of the 20+ vegan restaurants in Seattle and give the gift of grub. Wayward! Highline! Pizza Pi! Sage! Plum! Loving Hut! Bamboo Garden! Teapot! On and on! Check it. $-$$
Independent Button Maker – you have a vegan in your life who is crazy about causes? Helping out where ever they can? Maybe one with a band? Rather than them paying for custom buttons for the rest of their lives, just get them their very own button making machine. Go visit vegan-owned and operated, Button Makers.net in Georgetown. Your loved one can even sell buttons and make some dough or raise money. That is a gift that keeps on giving. Check it. $$$
Needle Art – Chip in some scratch to help your mom, brother, or friend get a tattoo that says, vegan, with vegan inks, from a vegan artist. That sounds rad. They can write that on the gift certificate, right? You have a few to choose from in Seattle. I recommend EGO at Under the Needle (downtown) and Heidi at Lucky Devil (capitol hill). $-$$$
Organic Art Vegan T-Shirt – There are still a few left of the 1st series of Lion’s Share Vegan T-shirts. Each one designed by a vegan artist, screen printed here in Seattle, the company is local and you can buy them online or at Sidecar. Made in the US, organic or recycled materials, radical designs. Why don’t you have all 5 yet? $
Polished to a Shine – On the outside and inside, the gift box of 4 different nail polishes from 100% vegan polish company, SPAritual is beautiful. Glitter on the box, and no toluene, formaldehyde or DBP in the bottles. Get it at Sidecar. $
Members Only – Maybe the vegan you love would be pleased as punch if you got them a membership to a local animal rights or vegan organization. This way you are donating money, supporting community, and giving a gift. Isn’t that called a Hat Trick? Try NARN, Seattle ADL, Vegetarians of WA, Green Vegans, etc. $
Shake Your Money Maker – Bollywood, belly, Zumba, tahitan – these dances can be enjoyed and mastered by you and the ones you love. For only $25 you can get someone a 3-class trial gift certificate to vegan-owned Skin Deep Dance. Beacon Hill and Crown Hill. Shake it. Check it. $
Song Sung Blue – Support local vegan musicians while giving the gift of song to the music lovers in your life. I suggest you take them to a show and pick up the CD or download if you can. Hip-hop (check out the new mix, Thief!, from Derelict), electronic (go see a Coreena performance), jazz (pick up the Nick Drake tribute from the Jason Parker Quartet or Zubatto Syndicate from Andrew Boscardin, punk and hardcore (take them to a an Olde Ghost or Sane Reaction show), and more. Maybe you ought to make a mix tape? $
Stompin Boots – OK, so Doc Martens is not a local company, but they finally came out with a vegan line and if you know someone dying for a pair of real Docs, don’t pass up the opportunity. When I went in to the Seattle flag ship store on 2nd (between Pike and Pine), they said they had had the vegan boots and shoes for 3 months and nobody noticed. Eeek. They are also very, very radical. Check it. $$$
Quilt it out – This gift is only for people who have been saving for a while and want to give something that is true art and true function merged. Get your vegan a custom quilt from Quiltsrÿche, headed by master quilter and vegan, Boo Davis. If you know someone who likes to quilt themselves, you can also pick up Boo’s book, Dare to Be Square. $$$
Wallets are Practical Fashion – Wallets are just the type of things that folks don’t buy for themselves until the one they have is broken, falling apart, grungy, and ineffective. Chocolate Shoe Box and Sidecar have great styles for both men and women and both stores are 100% vegan. Check it. $
I’ll try and keep adding to this list until Dec 22, and we can do it all again next year too. Tell me what ideas you have that are local, where you are finding really special things (Urban Craft Uprising anyone?), or what types of things are you making. This isn’t a craft blog, but I’m into embroidery, pickling, glass etching, mosaic work, stamping, soap making, and more. Are you making something others can buy? Let me know!